Prof Bruce Levell

Visiting Professor

Bruce Levell

Telephone:  +44 (0)1865 272 029
(PA Maria Petrunova: +44 (0)1865 282 060)

Research Profile

My background in hydrocarbon exploration as a clastic sedimentologist, seismic stratigrapher and regional geologist have led me to the following three current lines of research:

1)       Fluid flow in sedimentary basins- The way in which fluids flow out of sedimentary basins  is sometimes expressed on seismic data as geometries or as changes in physical properties of the sediments detectable geophysically. It is of direct relevance to tracking mineralising solutions and hydrocarbon migration and indirectly may reveal the “deep plumbing” of sedimentary basins and the positions of reservoirs and aquifers. These clues on seismic data are not fully understood and hence are not currently used predictively. They could be.

2)       The depositional stratigraphy of organic rich mudstone sections is variable. At one extreme they may record simple pelagic rain-out and at the other be constrained for example by deep water erosional processes. Of course a whole range of possible stratigraphic geometries is present between these extremes. Clues from poorly sampled sedimentary systems are important in the early understanding of resource distribution and the planning of responsible exploitation of resources associated with organic rich units..

3)       In the Precambrian thick sandstone successions occur which have the hallmarks of shallow marine deposition. These sandstones or sometimes quartzites are very pure in the sense that they contain only extremely thin mudstone partings. How did Precambrian depositional processes achieve such a discrete separation between sand and mud deposition? Fieldwork on the critical and relatively rarely recorded coastal systems might hold the clue. Mapping and field work triggered by the recent interest in the Neo-Proterozoic glacigenic sequences and advances in provenance studies offer hope of solving this long-standing puzzle.

Selected Publications

Levell, B. K., Argent, J., Dore, A. G. and Fraser, S. 2010. Passive Margins; overview. Petroleum Geology: From Mature Basins to New Frontiers—Proceedings of the 7th Petroleum Geology Conference, London. Series 7, 823-835, Geol.Soc.Publ.
DOI: 10.1144/0070823

Levell, B. K., Richard, P., Hoogendijk, F.  2002. A possible Albian impact crater at Murshid, Southern Oman. GeoArabia, Vol. 7, No. 4, 721-730.

Reading H. G. and B. K. Levell. 1997 and subsequent editions: Chapter 3, Controls on the sedimentary rock record. In Reading, H. G. (ed). Sedimentary Environments: Processes, Facies and Stratigraphy. Wiley-Blackwell Sci, Publ.

Veldkamp, J. J, M. G. Gaillard, H. A. Jonkers and B. K. Levell. 1997. A Kimmeridgian time slice through the Humber Group of the central North Sea: a test of sequence stratigraphic methods. In Hurst, A et al., (eds) Geology of the Humber Group : Central Graben and Moray Firth. Geol. Soc. Lon. Spec. Pub. 114, 1-28.
DOI: 10.1144/GSL.SP.1996.114.01.16

Johnson, H. D. and B. K. Levell. 1995. Sedimentology of a transgressive, estuarine sand complex: the Lower Cretaceous Woburn Sands (Lower Greensand) southern England. In Int.Ass.Sedimentol. Spec.Publ. 22, 17-46. DOI: 10.1002/9781444304091.ch2

Levell, B. K., Leu, W. 1993. Stratigraphic basin modelling-recent advances. In Basin modelling: Advances and Applications, NPF Special Publ. 3, 71-83, Elsevier Amsterdam.

Levell, B. K., J. H. Braakman and K. W. Rutten. 1989. Oil-bearing sediments of the Gondwana glaciation in Oman. Am.Ass.Petrol.Geol.Bull. July 1988. 72, 775-796.

Levell, B. K. 1987. The nature and significance of regional unconformities in the hydrocarbon-bearing Neogene sequence offshore West Sabah. Geol Soc. Malaysia Bulletin. 21, 55-90.

Levell, B. K. and A. Kasumajaya. 1985. Slumping at the late Miocene shelf edge offshore West Sabah: a view of a turbidite basin margin. Geol. Soc. Malaysia Bulletin 18, 1-29.

Braakman, J. H., B. K. Levell, J. H. Martin, T. L. Potter, and A. van Vliet. 1982. Late Palaeozoic Gondwana glaciation in Oman. Nature, 299, 48-50. DOI: 10.1038/299048a0

Levell. B. K. 1980. A Late Precambrian tidal shelf deposit the Lower Sandfjord Formation, Finnmark North Norway. Sedimentology, 27, 539-557. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-3091.1980.tb01646.x

Levell, B. K. 1980. Evidence for currents associated with waves in Late Precambrian shelf deposits from Finnmark, North Norway. Sedimentology 27, 153-166. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-3091.1980.tb01166.x

Johnson, H. D., B. K. Levell and S. Siedlecki. 1978. Late Precambrian sedimentary rocks in East Finnmark and their relationship to the Trollfjord-Komagelv Fault. J.Geol. Soc. 135.5 517-533. DOI: 10.1144/gsjgs.135.5.0517